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HS2 Euston ‘sugar cube’ gets green light

9 August 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

The ‘sugar cube’ – the first major structure to be built at London Euston as part of HS2  has been given design approval.

The new London Underground vent shaft and substation will be covered with more than 13,000 glazed ivory-white tiles, drawing its design inspiration from London Tube stations like the nearby Great Portland Street.

The glazed terracotta tiles – known as faience tiles – also feature at London Underground stations at South Kensington and Covent Garden. Robust and low-maintenance, they reflect the traditional practice of cladding the back of tall buildings with glazed white tiles to bring light into courtyards and confined spaces.

HS2’s Euston programme director, Rob Carr said: “HS2 will transform Euston and more than double the number of seats out of the station during peak hours. It will improve journeys for millions of people every year as well as unlocking opportunities for new homes, shops and jobs around the wider area.

“The new vent shaft and substation will be one of the first things we build and it’s important we get it right. I’m pleased that Camden has given us the green light and i hope this intriguing, functional and contemporary design will be welcomed by all those who live, work and travel through Euston”

Chris Williamson founding partner of architect Weston Williamson + Partner, which designed the building, said: “The Euston vent shaft is an important and vital piece of urban infrastructure which facilitates a comfortable environment for all users. It has been a close collaborative design process and the result builds on the best of Britain’s infrastructure heritage with the use of materials and expressing functional requirements."

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